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Germany draws up plans to join military action in Syria

Germany has drawn up plans to join the military campaign against the so-called Islamic State in Syria, a government official said.

Germany's cabinet agreed plans to join military action in Syria Credit: Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed plans to deploy Tornado reconnaissance jets, refuelling aircraft, a frigate and up to 1,200 military personnel to the region.

The lower house of parliament will hold a vote tomorrow - the same day that British MPs will debate and vote on plans for the UK to join airstrikes in the war-torn country.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen ruled out any cooperation between German forces and President Bashar al-Assad or his troops

Germany's cabinet is made up of conservatives, led by Merkel, and the centre-left Social Democrats, with whom she shares power.

Bombing Syria 'will make IS more likely to attack UK'

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone has warned that Britain joining airstrikes in Syria would only serve to make so-called Islamic State militants more determined to "come here and kill us".

Ken Livingstone Credit: PA

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that having troops on the ground was the only way to defeat the extremist group.

No one is going to get safer. We are going to get more at-risk.

I should imagine the security services are warning the Prime Minister that we are already at risk and that this bombing exercise will almost certainly heighten that risk.

They will be more determined to come here and kill us.

What we have got to do if we want to defeat Isis is actually organise that occupation of the area as we did after the defeat of Germany. We had troops on the ground. We showed them a better way of life.

– Ken Livingstone

He also defended his comments blaming Tony Blair for the 7/7 bombings, and saying that those behind them "gave their lives" for their beliefs, saying: "I simply told the truth."


RAF readying for Syria mission ahead of vote

File image of two Tornado Gr4 jets Credit: PA

RAF war planes are reportedly gearing up to launch air strikes on Islamic State bases in Syria should a vote in parliament scheduled for Wednesday approve a bombing run.

It is thought the first bombing missions could take place before the end of the week if parliament votes in favour of the plan.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would call a vote on the issue in the House of Commons tomorrow.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond indicated that if MPs vote for air strikes on Wednesday, more war planes would be deployed to the region to supplement the RAF Tornado GR4s already attacking IS in Iraq.

Labour free vote on airstrikes takes UK closer to war

Jeremy Corbyn's decision to allow his MPs are free vote on airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria appears to have put Britain a step closer to becoming involved in the ongoing war in the beleaguered country.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:


Corbyn: PM should stop 'rush to war' and allow full Syria debate

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the Prime Minister's decision to only call a one-day debate about launching airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

Mr Corbyn said: "By refusing a full two day debate, David Cameron is demonstrating he knows the debate is running away from him.

The Prime Minister should stop the rush to war to allow for a full discussion of the issues in parliament."

Prime Minister sets date for Syria airstrikes vote

David Cameron has said he will call a one day debate and vote on airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

From Downing Street, The Prime Minister said:

"I will be recommending to cabinet tomorrow that we hold a debate and a vote in the House of Commons to extend the airstrikes that we've carried out against Isil in Iraq that we extend that to Syria.

That we answer the call from our allies that we work with them because Isil is a threat to our country and this is the right thing to do."

Johnson family welcome independent inquiry into Tory bullying claims

The father of a young Tory party activist who committed suicide after claims he had been subjected to bullying has said he welcomes news of an independent inquiry into the allegations.

Speaking to ITV News, Ray Johnson said that he hoped it was the start of a "fair" investigation and that the Conservative party would give his family an opportunity to take part in the inquiry.

'Fully independent inquiry' over Conservatives bullying claims

The Conservative Party has agreed to a fully independent inquiry into allegations surrounding the death of young activist Elliott Johnson.

Mr Johnson, 21, committed suicide after claiming he had been subjected to bullying within the party's youth wing.

The inquiry will be carried out in its entirety by Clifford Chase law firm, the party said, and chairman Lord Feldman - accused by Mr Johnson's father of failures in his response to the allegation - will not attend the board when it considers its final report on the claims.

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